Things turned around in 2013. Representatives from Tesla flew in for a meeting. They had been scouring the country for a site for their battery plant but had not found anywhere that would allow them to build fast enough. How long would it take to get a grading permit (required when topography is significantly altered), they asked? In jest, Storey County’s community development director pushed a permit across the table and told the visitors to fill it out. The reality was not much slower: Tesla got its permit within a few days.
That initial deal raised TRIC’s profile. Switch, Google and eBay soon followed.
Not long afterwards Mr Gilman began receiving checks from companies wanting to buy land in the park without even touring it. They are often technology firms; a quarter of leasing demand for American industrial space comes from e-commerce companies wanting to expand operations.
A firm deploying blockchain technology purchased 67,125 acres of TRIC land. Out of the 104,000 acres, only a few hundred acres are still available. Gazing out at a cluster of busy warehouses from a hilltop in the park, Mr Gilman chuckles: “I guess I sold myself out of a job.”